👭 WOMAN CRUSH EVERY DAY: Amanda Vega/Kaleidos 👭

As we prepare for our WOMEN + DENIM fundraiser (proceeds of which will go to N Street Village, a DC-based organization that empowers, protects, and supports DC homeless women), we're spotlighting the local, woman-owned businesses that will be participating in the event. 

Amanda Vega was the muse behind the first (and second) shopping party I collaborated on, so it was obvious from the get-go that we would invite her to be a part of this woman-powered event. I first met Amanda at a Union Market pop-up of her online clothing retailer, Kaleidos, last year. After every single person I worked with that day purchased at least one item from her inventory of new and vintage pieces, we knew that we needed to create another physical space for us to shop her goods in, and so our private shopping party series was born.

Amanda is a seriously badass babe (and a crazy cat lady after my own heart), with an eye for stunning pieces of clothing and jewelry, a penchant for beautifully moody modeling pics, and a passion for music (oh, yeah -- she's an artist and musician as well as a retail business owner). I've loved collaborating with her over the last few months, and can't wait to see what goodies she has in store for our upcoming event!

Read on for more about Kaleidos.

What inspired you to start Kaleidos?
In 2013, I started an InstaShop (an Instagram Shop) where I would sell clothes from my closet. It began as a hobby, but I found myself really enjoying the process - from photographing the clothes, to curating and digitally merchandising, to packaging the orders. I had quit my visual merchandising job the year before to pursue music full time and was really struggling with a serious bout of writers block. The InstaShop helped me to stay creative when I wasn't able to create music. As I spent more and more time on Instagram, I was discovering this whole world of independent designers and makers. It felt so parallel to the world of indie music, and I wanted to be able to support these amazing women. I've always liked the idea of owning a little boutique, but the idea was always just, well, an idea. After my experience running the InstaShop, I was really inspired to take it to the next level and launch an e-commerce shop where I could do all this. For the next year and half, I spent the time brainstorming what eventually became KALEIDOS.

Tell me about the philosophy behind your brand.
Be creative, conscious, and kind.

Who are some of your local women crushes?
I admire Amanda McClements' kindness and graciousness.
I am inspired by Virginia Arrisueño's drive, dedication, and hard work.
I am fascinated by Desiree Venn Frederic's story and how it has influenced her amazing sense of style.
I respect Morgan Hungerford's endurance of heart for supporting & nurturing the A Creative DC community.
There are so many local women who crush it and are doing amazing things! 

What makes the DC creative community special to you?
What makes this community special to me is its spirit of camaraderie. I think because DC is not yet a city that is widely known for its creative scene, we are craving for it to flourish. When we meet another creative with great ideas or doing amazing things, there is support and a fight for one other to succeed.

Why is fundraising for N Street Village important to you?
I come from a family of 4 girls raised by a low-income single mother. My mom worked tirelessly to provide for us so we could have a stable and normal-as-possible life. There was a point when my mom was sleeping at her place of work and my sisters and I were living in separate houses. Because of this, I have so much compassion for the homeless. I absolutely love N Street Village's mission of empowering women through the approach of dignity and respect. It's a beautiful thing. 

What are some other causes that are close to your heart?
Animals and spreading kindness.